GSN Presents: The 2017 Advent Gift Guide – Day 22

With only three days to go until Christmas Eve, there’s not enough time to order gifts.  So, until then, we’re going to suggest some items that we’ve rated highly this year that you can find in your local liquor store (hopefully).  For Day 22, we’re focusing on the 20 spirited products that received a GSN Rating of A- (90) during 2017.

  1. Allaire Vodka
  2. Auchentoshan – The Bartender’s Malt
  3. Bache Gabrielsen Tre Kors Cognac
  4. Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye
  5. CALI California Sipping Whiskey
  6. Cannon Beach Distillery Dorymen’s Rum
  7. Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
  8. D. George Benham’s Gin Sonoma Dry Gin
  9. Don Ciccio & Figli Amaro Tonico Ferro-Kina
  10. Don Ciccio & Figli Finocchietto Fennel Liqueur
  11. Don Q 2007 Signature Release Single Barrel
  12. Highland Park Magnus Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  13. Koskenkorva Vodka
  14. Montelobos Mezcal
  15. Oamaruvian 16 Year Old Cask Strength DoubleCask
  16. Paul John Bold Whisky
  17. Savannah Spirits Amber Rum
  18. TINCUP 10 American Whiskey
  19. Van Gogh Vodka
  20. Virginia Distillery Co. Cider Barrel Matured Virginia Highland Malt

GSN Review: Savannah Spirits Rum

Savannah Spirits Group has announced that it will open a new distillery in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic District in March 2018.  The 12,000 square foot building, built in the late 1800’s, will also house an upscale chop-house with multiple dining rooms, a full bar and private event space with a terrace on the upper floors all surrounded by the original brick that has been uncovered during the renovations.

In the meantime, Savannah Spirits is currently producing its first two products off-site, Silver and Amber Rums.  The Amber Rum, made with the guidance of expert distillers from Imperial Sugar, fuses the caramel notes of Savannah Spirits Silver Rum with Imperial Sugar-made dark cane syrup. The rums are the first in a line that will include vodka, gin and whiskey.

“This has been a long time in the making and to introduce Savannah Spirits to the Lowcountry starting with our rum, we feel, is the most apropos way to honor the bustling spirit of the region and its people, and to celebrate Savannah’s fanciful history,” says co-founder Dean Bell.

Heavily inspired by Savannah’s colorful history and often pit stop location for history’s most notorious rum-runners, both Savannah Spirits rums reflect the distinctive character and provenance of the city. The town was founded in 1734 where the only laws were ‘No Slaves, No Lawyers, No Liquor,’ particularly rum.  Soon tunnels had been dug beneath the town for smuggling rum.  When Georgia went dry in 1908, Savannahians pushed to secede to form their own state, and during Prohibition, Savannah was known as the “Bootleg Spigot of the South.”

“It’s all about the history. Our concept is, taste the history. A lot of people don’t really know how associated Savannah is with rum running and the craziness that went on, so we’re taking advantage of that,” says Bell.

Savannah Spirits Silver Rum (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Rich cane funk. Grassy, sweet and rustic.
Taste: Akin to an agricole style rhum, with a full-bodied depth of character that highlights the cane juice. The barrel aging keeps sweetness tempered down with a dry and slightly spicy ending.
Finish: Medium long with a tapered and vegetal finish.
Overall: Very interesting and loaded with possibilities for use in cocktails. There’s a cachaca sensibility that begs for lime juice.
GSN Rating: B+

Savannah Spirits Amber Rum (80 proof)
Visual: Pale gold.
Nose: Similar to the silver rum, but headily dosed with a molasses-like penumbra. The kind of rum that seems like it stepped out of the 1700’s.
Taste: The cane syrup works wonders here by toning down the herbal character of the rum, sweetening up the whole package and at the same time adding a dark caramel essence.
Finish: Long, with a slight cocoa finish.
Overall: In a way, this is almost a bottled Old-Fashioned. Just pour a few ounces in a rocks glass, add a splash of aromatic bitters, and stir with a few cubes of ice. Using cane syrup in this rum is a brilliant move and adds a new dimension to this New World spirit.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Savannah Spirits